Well how come so many servers say they are vanilla but they have bukkit? Isn't a vanilla server one without mods? I look through for ones that say "[Vanilla]" and have bukkit installed...I hate bukkit.
Some servers may use Bukkit, but only for adding commands which are useful for administration.
I'm not exactly sure why you "hate" Bukkit, because all Bukkit does is make things better.
I just think if you say the server is Vanilla it should be Vanilla, using Bukkit for adding commands like that is NOT Vanilla. And every server I play on with Bukkit does not have that Minecraft feel that you get from Vanilla servers. Bukkit makes the servers seem very unorganized and big. Even if the server says its a small community, if they use Bukkit, they seem not like a small community server, usually, all Bukkit servers I play on are not fun. Bukkit implements no new features to the game except the ability to use third party plugins, which, in general, are not built up-to-par with the Minecraft game itself, just as most mods are. hMod did a much better job of implementing a good system that still had a Minecraft feel, but some of the third party plugins also gave the game an un-Minecraft feel. I admit, they help with large servers, but you can still work with just adding some simple anti-grief mods for the default Minecraft server. Just adding mods like creeper, fire, and TNT protection to the default Minecraft server you can have a protected Vanilla-ish server and it is not all that hard to make those kind of protection mods. There are some other server-wrappers that add great features and still feel very Minecraft, zMod for example. zMod does not add the ability for third parties to create not-very-functional plugins, but it adds a much better implementation of most of the widely used Bukkit plugins. It is very easy to setup and you do not need to go through the whole process you need to do with Bukkit. It added optional grief-protection, area zoning, mod tool, terrain tools, chest locking, colored names, a dynamic player limit, weather control, and much more. I'm not trying to advertise zMod, but it is much better than Bukkit and adds the same features. With zMod you don't need to go through 30 pages of help to learn how to check who is online. I personally feel that Bukkit provides a not user friendly environment for the players or the server owners. I will admit, it adds really nice features to the game if you get the right plugin, but all the plugins are not built properly because they are made by people who are not the best at developing mods because Bukkit makes it easier to make mods.
Installing Bukkit isn't a huge process. In fact, it's just as easy as setting up a default "vanilla" Minecraft server.
If it weren't for a server owner specifically saying that a particular server is running Bukkit, I bet you couldn't even tell the difference if all they were using was WorldGuard and WorldEdit. Those plugins simply block fire spread, creeper explosions, and TNT explosions - plus a lot of other stuff.
I've been on a few servers that use Bukkit, and some of them have pretty spammy chat, due to a lot of messages being automated. However, on the server I manage, I keep things pretty simple - pretty close to vanilla.
Its not really installing Bukkit, its getting all the mods you need and getting them to work, like just to get the same the hMod provides, you need like 5 plugins and need to set them all up. WorldGuard, and WorldEdit aren't the problem, those are much better than most of the others. They still are not very good, they are very glitchy. I can understand using Bukkit to get just anti-grief plugins, but in general, the plugins for Bukkit aren't made by experienced coders. They make the plugins not very user-orientated. Altogether, Bukkit is very unorganized.
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